Wednesday: An Unshakeable Kingdom
God has announced that He will “shake” the heavens and the earth, which means that He will destroy enemy nations. There are some things, however, that will not be shaken, that will not be destroyed.
Compare Psalm 15:5, Psalm 16:8, Psalm 21:7, Psalm 62:2, Psalm 112:6, and Hebrews 12:27. What are the things that will not be shaken?
Many modern translations of Hebrews 12:27 suggest that the shaking of the heavens and the earth means that they will be removed and forever gone.
The Bible is clear, however, that God will create new heavens and a new earth (Isaiah 65:17, Revelation 21:1-4), and we will be resurrected and have a new body (1 Thessalonians 4:13-17, Philippians 3:20) on this earth. Thus, the “shaking” implies the cleansing and renovation of creation, not its complete removal. What is here will be re-created, and it will be where the redeemed will live.
There are some things, however, that will not and cannot be shaken. They include the righteous. They will not be shaken because they trust in God. The Creator sustains them and guarantees their survival.
Note that in Hebrews, permanence and stability are associated with Jesus. Hebrews 1:10-12 says about Jesus: “You, Lord, laid the foundation of the earth in the beginning, and the heavens are the work of your hands; they will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment, like a robe you will roll them up, like a garment they will be changed. But you are the same, and your years will have no end” (ESV). Hebrews also says that Jesus’ priesthood remains forever (Hebrews 7:3, Hebrews 7:24) as does also the inheritance of the redeemed (Hebrews 10:34). In the final judgment, those who hold fast “in Jesus” will not be shaken (Psalm 46:5).
Hebrews 12:28 also says that we will receive “a kingdom that cannot be shaken” (ESV). This is a reference to Daniel 7:18, which says that the saints will “possess the kingdom forever.” This is the kingdom that “shall never be destroyed” mentioned in Daniel 2:44. This kingdom belongs to the Son, but He will share it with us. Revelation 20:4 says that we will judge with Him the evil powers that persecuted us (1 Corinthians 6:3).
|How well do you do now, in terms of being shaken? If not so well, what choices can you make in order to get help in this important area? (See Ephesians 4:14.)|
The language of stability and shaking are often applied to things we believe in. One cogent example of this is the way we speak about our doctrines. We have enshrined them with the descriptive name, "The Pillars of Adventism". Anyone who deviates from the pillars is described as being subject to the "shaking time."
The mental images that come most readily to mind when I hear "pillars" and "shaking" used in close proximity to one another are the pictures I see of ancient temples of past civilisations. Their pillars lie scattered and the roofs they supported have disappeared into the oblivion of history. I have to admit that sometimes I ask myself if the Seventh-day Adventist church thought seriously about the metaphor they chose to represent stability.
Now, don't get me wrong. I am not saying that doctrine is not important or ephemeral but in the grand scheme of Christianity, there's only one pillar - unselfish love. When we understand God's love towards us in such a way that it reflects into our relationship with others, then the other "pillars" come into perspective.
...and the judgement scene:
Well said, Mr. Ashton.
Certainly, God treats everyone of us in the most contructive way as possible. Yet, it might be a kind of mistery why some respond positively while others don't (perhaps here we could discuss about the 'freedom of choice' subject, which also reflects God's character). But as a loving Father, He has to shake up the "pillars" His children are founded on, so they can grab and grow rooted on the only pillar that's worth to, JESUS! The question is "Do I accept God's pruning and let Him heal me with LOVE?"
The man made religions and their pillars will be shaken but not those established by the LORD. Dan 2:44
This is the message of encouragement the LORD sends to those who are facing troubling times.
I, the LORD, know all the things you do, and I have opened a door for you that no one can close.
You have little strength, yet you obeyed my Word and did not deny me.
Because you have obeyed my command to persevere, I will protect you from the great time of testing that will come upon the whole world to test those who belong to this world. I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, never give up, never give in, so that no one will take away your crown that is waiting for you. All who are victorious will become pillars in the Temple of my God, and they will never have to leave it. And I will write on them the name of my God, and they will be citizens in the city of my God — the new Jerusalem that comes down from heaven from my God. And I will also write on them my new name.
We who stand firm on the Cornerstone, Ephesians 2:20. Will be like grain on the thrashing floor. We will still be there after the chaff blows away and is burned. God will gather us up and take us home. Luke 3:17.
How well do you do now, in terms of being shaken? If not so well, what choices can you make in order to get help in this important area? Ephesians 4:11-16. In essence, go to church, prayer meeting, get involved helping others using one or two of the gifts. Be doers of the word, not just hearers, so you can be a strong body part of Christ church. All body parts that are strong makes for a healthy church body, unshakable locked in the Love of God.
How many of us have gone on merry go round felt dizzy. The normal reaction is to hold on to something solid. God’s shaking exposes our weaknesses and allows us to hold on to Him tightly while the storm passes through.
Hebrews 12:27 sparked a memory for me.
My Mother could bake the most wonderful cakes and pies without a Cake or Pie Crust Mix. She'd begin with the basic ingredients. I loved to watch her use the sifter as she shook flour gently into it. Then she'd use one or the other of her utensils and begin to gently shake it. Slowly but surely, the fine flour and alien lumps were separated from each other. Although the 'good' flour went through the sifter and the unwanted material kept in the sifter and discarded, I thought of the separation process...shaking. The process of sifting or shaking made the difference in what went with the rest of the ingredients to make a fine product. May we be like the fine light flour.
Amen, Maurice !
Qualities that will not be shaken
2 Peter 1:8
Sin and Entropy will be shaken !